Today our school community came together to celebrate our annual Easter Liturgy. I can think of no better way to conclude what has been a most positive and uplifting Term 1 at Whitefriars. The resurrection story is one of new life and new hope. This is precisely how I have felt being here at Whitefriars this term. I have said throughout the term that there is a renewed energy and vibrancy in our school which has infected us all and which has been led by our wonderful students and staff. Every activity and event which has been packed into Term 1 at Whitefriars has been attended to with gusto by all in our community. I am very grateful to our staff, our students and our parents for the way you have all embraced every opportunity to gather together and support each other throughout this time.
Today’s Easter Liturgy was a wonderful example of the Whitefriars community in full flight. From our committed and inspiring Student Leaders who led us so thoughtfully and reverently though the three stages of the Easter Triduum, to our student body whose attentiveness and quiet contemplation demonstrated a commitment to, and understanding of, the essence of who we are as a Catholic school in the Carmelite tradition. I was particularly inspired by our College Captain who provided a wonderful summary of the events, activities and the many achievements of our students during Term 1. Harry also challenged all Whitefriars boys to embrace the new term and to get the most out of school through participating in all that Whitefriars has to offer.
I would like to wish all in the Whitefriars family a safe, happy, restful and enjoyable term break and I look forward to seeing our young men back in Term 2 full of renewed energy and commitment to life at Whitefriars.
Below are a few words of Easter reflection I presented at todays Easter Liturgy.
As Christians, we believe that God sent his son Jesus to us to spread the good news of the Gospel. The essence of that message was that we should love each other as God loves us.
Sounds simple really, pretty innocent, fairly harmless but also very challenging. So why is it that after three years of preaching this message, did a group of people decide that Jesus was a trouble maker, that he was too dangerous to keep around? Why did people want Jesus dead?
Perhaps the powers at be felt threatened by Jesus. Perhaps the leaders of the time were worried that Jesus would expose them as being hypocrites and frauds who were more interested in their own needs than the needs of others. They were scared that they would lose their power over people founded on fear, oppression and suspicion. Mostly, I believe, they were worried that Jesus’ message would actually bring peace and love to the world.
For the last 2000 years, Jesus’ message of love and peace has been proclaimed throughout the world. So, as we enter this Easter time, let us take time to stop and pray for peace. Let us pray that love can overcome hate, and forgiveness and mercy overcome intolerance and prejudice.
In the words of our dear friend Pope Francis… “Brothers and sisters, let us allow the peace of Christ to enter our lives, our homes, our countries this Easter! Peace is possible; peace is a duty; peace is everyone’s primary responsibility!”
Thanks to all of you who have lived out the peace of Christ through your actions and interactions this term.
When you have stepped in to stop conflict.
When you have supported a fellow student in need.
When you have supported your teacher in the classroom.
When you have volunteered to take a tour or participate in Open Day.
When you have swam that extra race or cheered on a mate who was struggling to finish.
When you have shaved your head for a cause or even simply picked up that paper that wasn’t yours.
Each time you do these things – you are bringing Jesus’ Easter message of peace and love to this place.
I wish you all a very happy, restful and safe Easter break and look forward to seeing you all next term as together we bring the peace of Christ to our community and beyond.
Mr Mark Murphy